Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile

RoTell - August 18, 2021

Rotary Club Ottawa South eBulletin

Via Zoom
Editor: Scott Vetter, Assistant Editor: Rosemary Parker, Photographer: Robin Spencer
Ticks, Lyme Disease and Advocating for your Rights
Presentation by Erin Scott

Erin had been bitten by ticks many times when young and was initially infected with Lyme disease as early as the age of two. Unfortunately it wasn't diagnosed until she was 21!

She suffered numerous ailments for decades and underwent countless tests with many doctors. She was told she was lazy, faking, looking for attention and wasting medical resources. It was a horrible journey, and she realized she was not the only one dealing with this hardship. Many people suffer from undiagnosed Lyme disease and she feels that people need to be more assertive in advocating their rights. So she spends as much time as possible talking to groups and building awareness to the issues of Lyme disease and the importance of getting tested.

It is important that Lyme disease be diagnosed as early as possible, so if you feel you have Lyme disease, insist on being tested, it is your right.

Ottawa has a high percentage of infected ticks. In a 2017 study, it was found that 1 out of 3 ticks in the Ottawa area carried the Borrelia bacteria. The treatment is 14 - 28 days of antibiotics, and some patients need to undergo the treatment more than once.

A tick rash is often a "bulls-eye rash, but it can take other forms as well. Lyme disease is a very determined bacteria that can lie dormant for many years, waiting for its host to be weakened.

If you've been bitten by a tick, Erin recommends:

  • Remove the tick carefully and be sure to get the head. If not it can continue to burrow into you. (You can go to a hospital to have it professionally removed.)
  • Put the tick into a Ziplock bag and then into the freezer (this will kill the tick and keep the specimen in case it needs to be examined).
  • Record the date and exactly where it happened.
  • Take photos of your rash. Bonus: taking the photos with your phone will give it a time and geo-location stamp.

Chronic Lyme disease is not recognized in Ontario, and as a result the health system isn't necessarily prepared to deal with tick bites and Lyme disease appropriately. In addition to advocating for your rights, Erin recommends the following online resources:


Support Groups – Lyme Ontario

Members of the Rotary Club of Ottawa South listen to Erin Scott's engaging and informative talk on ticks and Lyme disease.

Join our next meeting via Zoom

Wednesday August 25, 2021 at 12:30